How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Buckeye Arizona
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Buckeye AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a superior education. In reality, most potential 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 look into is whether to attend classes online 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 much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Buckeye AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Buckeye AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. 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 on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. 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 become certified. Although not mandated in most states, a number of Buckeye AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study 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. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Buckeye AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
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 want 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 Buckeye AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy 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 be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example 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. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Buckeye AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of 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 check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Buckeye AZ clinics or hospitals that you might 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 find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the Arizona state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Buckeye AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Buckeye AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Buckeye AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care 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 helping people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Buckeye Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you choose the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buckeye Arizona.