How to Find the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Clifton Arizona
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Clifton AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Clifton AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Clifton AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, 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 drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and offers a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Clifton AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the key 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Clifton AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior 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 ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Courses
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind 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 important if you will be commuting from Clifton AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important 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 a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Clifton AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Clifton 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 ask 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 working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Clifton AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Clifton AZ medical community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the final college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Clifton AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even 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 procedure is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Clifton AZ medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work around anxious 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, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Clifton Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Clifton Arizona.