How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Queen Creek AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Queen Creek AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most potential students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Queen Creek AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Queen Creek AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working 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 newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Queen Creek AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Queen Creek AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure 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 extensive online and clinical training, you can receive 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 right option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
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 may have already chosen the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Queen Creek AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure 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 all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Queen Creek AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with some Queen Creek AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Enough 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 amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available 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 Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Queen Creek AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Queen Creek AZ, make sure 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 attend 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 in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Queen Creek Arizona
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must carefully screen and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Queen Creek AZ.