How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Yuma AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomist training near Yuma AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll review 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 including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Yuma AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Yuma AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing 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 environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Yuma AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the key 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, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Yuma AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school 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 receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Yuma AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree 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 many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Yuma AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed 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 length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide 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 comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? 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 get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Yuma AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Yuma AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the final school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Yuma AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Yuma Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Yuma AZ.