How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist School near Bisbee Arizona
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Bisbee AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. 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 pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order 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 may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Bisbee AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, such as Bisbee AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Bisbee 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Bisbee AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now 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 chosen the kind of program you want 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 Bisbee AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Bisbee AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to a few Bisbee AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, 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 classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at 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 might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Bisbee AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges 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 positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Bisbee AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bisbee AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Bisbee AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, 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 helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Best Bisbee Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Bisbee Arizona.