How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Yuma AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy school near Yuma AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review 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 closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Yuma AZ labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Yuma AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, 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 each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest 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 include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, a number of Yuma AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Yuma AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining 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 is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 campus 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 college. Each of these decisions are an important 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 a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy 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 have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Yuma AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few 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 contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Yuma AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Yuma AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings 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, confirm it is an option also. 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 procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Yuma Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Yuma AZ.