How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Carefree Arizona
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Carefree AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Carefree AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, including Carefree AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind 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 practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as 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 on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Carefree AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed 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-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Carefree AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Carefree AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Carefree AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Carefree AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the Arizona state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Carefree AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Carefree AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Carefree 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 also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Carefree AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings 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 could be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Carefree Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Carefree Arizona.