How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Yuma AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy training near Yuma AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk more about online classes 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Yuma AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Yuma AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, most Yuma AZ employers require certification prior to employing 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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-practical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Yuma AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional 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 study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Yuma AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Yuma AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Yuma AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Yuma AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out 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 positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Yuma AZ medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the final program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Yuma AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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 emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Yuma Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable 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 a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Yuma AZ.