How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist School near Big Park Arizona
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Big Park AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time 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 can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Big Park AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Big Park AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate 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 provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Big Park AZ employers require certification before employing 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 some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Big Park AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
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 chosen the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Big Park AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares 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 highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Big Park AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Big Park AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. 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 clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Big Park AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college 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 Big Park AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Big Park AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Big Park AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Choose the Right Big Park Phlebotomist School
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Big Park Arizona.