How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Bullhead City Arizona
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Bullhead City AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training 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 fact, many prospective students start the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Bullhead City AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Bullhead City AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older 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 setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in the majority of states, many Bullhead City AZ employers require certification before employing 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 a few 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 essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out 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 part of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Bullhead City AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Bullhead City AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component 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 a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Bullhead City AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, 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 begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with several Bullhead City AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide 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 schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 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 Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Bullhead City AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Bullhead City AZ medical community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Plebotomist?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Bullhead City AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Bullhead City Phlebotomy Program
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a variety of academic institutes, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bullhead City Arizona.