How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Big Park Arizona
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Big Park AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk 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 locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out 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 in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Big Park AZ labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Big Park AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not required in most states, many Big Park 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 several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Big Park AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Big Park AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need 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 working and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Big Park AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Big Park AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Big Park AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Big Park AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Big Park AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Big Park AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Big Park Phlebotomist School
Making sure that you enroll in the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Big Park Arizona.