How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Ajo Arizona
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Ajo AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick 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 classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Ajo AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Ajo AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Ajo AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key 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, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Ajo AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Ajo AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school 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 sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential 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 in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also contact some Ajo AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, check with the Arizona 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Ajo AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Ajo AZ medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Ajo AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical 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 as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Ajo AZ medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right profession for you.
Choose the Best Ajo Phlebotomy Course
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Ajo Arizona.