How to Find the Best Phlebotomy School near Ajo Arizona
Picking the ideal phlebotomy training near Ajo AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, most students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Ajo AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, including Ajo AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Ajo AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying agencies 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, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Training
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Ajo AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Ajo AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Ajo AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students 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 check with some Ajo AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, contact the Arizona state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Ajo AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools 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 jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Ajo AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Ajo AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Ajo AZ medical facilities, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Ajo Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may differ slightly across the country 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 program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Ajo Arizona.