How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician School near Yuma AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Yuma AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply 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 prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Yuma AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Yuma AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively 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, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Yuma AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Yuma AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Yuma AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist 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 select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Yuma AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Yuma AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish 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 furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Yuma AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Yuma AZ medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Yuma AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Yuma Arizona
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Yuma AZ.