How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Queen Creek AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Queen Creek AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Queen Creek AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Queen Creek AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked 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 blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with 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 phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Queen Creek AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Queen Creek AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of 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 Tech?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic answer is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Queen Creek AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important 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 phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior 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 obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Queen Creek AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Queen Creek AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Queen Creek AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college 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 together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Queen Creek AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Queen Creek AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Queen Creek Arizona
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Queen Creek AZ.