How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist School near Yuma AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Yuma AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into 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 remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, 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 must check that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Yuma AZ labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Yuma AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Yuma AZ employers look for 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical option for some Yuma AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Yuma AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Yuma 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 caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. 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 research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Yuma AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Yuma AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Yuma AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Yuma AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Yuma Arizona
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Yuma AZ.