How to Select the Right Phlebotomist School near Yuma AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Yuma AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Yuma AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Yuma AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Yuma AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some of the main 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 other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Yuma AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 Yuma AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Yuma AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with several Yuma AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Yuma AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Yuma AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Yuma AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain 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 emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Yuma Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Yuma AZ.