How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist School near Queen Creek AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Queen Creek AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, most potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit 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 variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time 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 screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Queen Creek AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Queen Creek AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly 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 environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Queen Creek AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Queen Creek AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Queen Creek AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a recognized 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 school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Queen Creek AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Queen Creek AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? 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 phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Queen Creek AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Queen Creek AZ medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Queen Creek AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Queen Creek Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Queen Creek AZ.