How to Select the Best Phlebotomist School near Queen Creek AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Queen Creek AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, many students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Queen Creek AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required 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 numerous and diverse, such as Queen Creek AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Queen Creek AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides 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
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Queen Creek AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Queen Creek AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Queen Creek AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal 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 out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Queen Creek AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough 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 classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Queen Creek AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Queen Creek AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night 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, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Queen Creek Arizona
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Queen Creek AZ.