How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist School near Arizona City Arizona
Picking the ideal phlebotomist school near Arizona City AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many potential students start their search by looking at 2 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 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 checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should 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 reviewing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Arizona City AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Arizona City AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing 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 drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Arizona City AZ employers require certification before 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be practical 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. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Arizona City AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Arizona City AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select 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 be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick 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 school aside from an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Arizona City AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even contact a few Arizona City AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing 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 signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Arizona City AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Arizona City AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Arizona City AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Arizona City AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Arizona City Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Arizona City Arizona.