How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Buckeye Arizona
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Buckeye AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to investigate and compare all 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, a large number of students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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 Buckeye AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The quickest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Buckeye AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a certain type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting 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, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means 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 phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Buckeye AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also prepares 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 likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Buckeye AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). 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 study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind 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 Buckeye AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Buckeye AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Buckeye AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. 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 Plenty of Training Included? First, contact the Arizona state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional 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 assist students establish contacts within the local Buckeye AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Buckeye AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Buckeye AZ medical environments, well this profession probably is not right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right profession for you.
Pick the Best Buckeye Phlebotomist Program
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buckeye Arizona.