How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Clifton Arizona
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Clifton AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should 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 afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out 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 can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Clifton AZ labs and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Clifton AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method 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 to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, most Clifton AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the main 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including 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 prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for some Clifton AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Clifton AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may 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 working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized 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 aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Clifton AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with several Clifton AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final 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 Enough Training Provided? First, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be practicing 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 looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Clifton AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Clifton AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the final program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Clifton AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Clifton AZ medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Choose the Right Clifton Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be available in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Clifton Arizona.