How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy School near Peoria AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Peoria AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, most students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish 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 before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Peoria AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Peoria AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with 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, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Peoria AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Peoria AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in 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 superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Peoria AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen 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 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 online phlebotomist school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school 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 program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Peoria AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. 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 screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact several Peoria AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length 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 (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Peoria AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Peoria AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend 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, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Peoria Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Peoria AZ.