How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Yuma AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Yuma AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a quality education. In reality, most prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility 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 certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Yuma AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Yuma AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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 portion of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Yuma AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Yuma AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Yuma AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, 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 reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Yuma AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest 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 grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Yuma AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Yuma AZ health care community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to 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 also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training near Yuma Arizona
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Yuma AZ.