How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Queen Creek AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist school near Queen Creek AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. 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 choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Queen Creek AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Queen Creek AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education together with 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Queen Creek AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical 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. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Queen Creek AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Queen Creek AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national 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 an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, 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 College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with several Queen Creek AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Queen Creek AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire 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 the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Queen Creek AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Queen Creek AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training near Queen Creek Arizona
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Queen Creek AZ.