How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist School near Queen Creek AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Queen Creek AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick 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 Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Queen Creek AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon 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 workplaces are many and varied, such as Queen Creek AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Queen Creek AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies 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, including Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the program of studies will be clinical 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for some Queen Creek AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Queen Creek AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Queen Creek AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Queen Creek AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Queen Creek AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Queen Creek AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Queen Creek AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Queen Creek AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even 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 protocol is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Queen Creek Arizona
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Queen Creek AZ.