How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Yuma AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Yuma AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, most students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor 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 you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Yuma AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Yuma AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Yuma AZ employers look for certification before 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy 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. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Yuma AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Yuma AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations 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 clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Yuma AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to some Yuma AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested 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 grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide 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 expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Yuma AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Yuma AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Yuma AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Yuma Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Yuma AZ.