How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Peoria AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Peoria AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, most potential students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far 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 must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Peoria AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Peoria AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing 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 drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Peoria AZ employers require certification prior to employing 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Peoria AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may 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 college is important if you will be commuting from Peoria AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies 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 recognized national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier 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 school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Peoria AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact several Peoria AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Peoria AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering 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 together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Peoria AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Peoria AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Peoria Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must carefully research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Peoria AZ.