How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy School near Bullhead City Arizona
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist school near Bullhead City AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, most students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to 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 can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Bullhead City AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The simplest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Bullhead City AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working 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 drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Bullhead City AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part 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 completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for some Bullhead City AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Bullhead City AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Bullhead City AZ job market.
What is the Program'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 imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with a few Bullhead City AZ hospitals or clinics that you may 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 ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Bullhead City AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bullhead City AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to confirm that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you opt to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Bullhead City AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Bullhead City Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bullhead City Arizona.