How to Select the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Cave Creek Arizona
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Cave Creek AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare all of the school options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important 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 need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Cave Creek AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The most basic response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Cave Creek AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely 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 setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Cave Creek AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the primary certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Cave Creek AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding 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 want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Cave Creek AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with 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 Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Cave Creek AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? 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 along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by asking the schools for references 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 as well. You can even check with several Cave Creek AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? To begin with, 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. At 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 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 considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Cave Creek AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Cave Creek AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Cave Creek AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Cave Creek AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected 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 interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Cave Creek Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Cave Creek Arizona.