How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy School near Peoria AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Peoria AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Peoria AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Peoria AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect 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 collecting blood from a particular kind 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 drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Peoria AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the main 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient option for many Peoria AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Peoria AZ medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required 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 helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Peoria AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Peoria AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any colleges 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 agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with several Peoria AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Peoria AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Peoria AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Peoria AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Peoria Arizona
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Peoria AZ.