How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Queen Creek AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Queen Creek AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Queen Creek AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Queen Creek AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working 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 setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Queen Creek AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the principal certifying organizations 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 phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Queen Creek AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive 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 best choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Queen Creek AZ medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected 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 significant if you will be commuting from Queen Creek AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Queen Creek AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those 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 asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Queen Creek AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 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 comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Queen Creek AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Queen Creek AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Queen Creek 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 study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Queen Creek Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Queen Creek AZ.