How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Peoria AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Peoria AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Peoria AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Peoria AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Peoria AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Peoria AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Peoria AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy 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 program in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential 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 phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Peoria AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing 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 Sufficient 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Peoria AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Peoria AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Peoria AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
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Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Peoria Arizona
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Peoria AZ.