How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Queen Creek AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Queen Creek AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Queen Creek AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Queen Creek AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Queen Creek AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial 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 in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Queen Creek AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Queen Creek AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? 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. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very 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 any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, 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 Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are considering. 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 research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few 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 find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Queen Creek AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Queen Creek AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly true if you opt to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Queen Creek AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify 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 in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Queen Creek Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Queen Creek AZ.