How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Benson Arizona
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Benson AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, most prospective students begin their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Benson AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Benson AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Benson AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion 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. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Benson AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Benson AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional 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 a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Benson AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Benson AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Benson AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Benson AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to verify that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Benson AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, 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 ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Benson AZ medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it 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 Benson Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each college 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 pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Benson Arizona.