How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Queen Creek AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Queen Creek AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Queen Creek AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in most 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 some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical option for some Queen Creek AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national 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 earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Queen Creek AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is significant 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 phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Queen Creek AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Queen Creek AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At 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 clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Queen Creek AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Queen Creek AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Queen Creek AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Queen Creek Arizona
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Queen Creek AZ.