How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Yuma AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Yuma AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Yuma AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Yuma AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once 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. 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Yuma AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Yuma AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing 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 Yuma AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Yuma AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Yuma AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Yuma AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Yuma AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Yuma Arizona
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety 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. Program options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Yuma AZ.