How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Clifton Arizona
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Clifton AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze 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 quality education. In reality, a large number of potential students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. 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 select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Clifton AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Clifton AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Clifton AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Clifton AZ students. As an added benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Clifton AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Clifton AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Clifton AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask 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 total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, check with 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 phlebotomy program that you are reviewing 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 indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Clifton AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Clifton AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final program you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Clifton AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. 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 now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Choose the Best Clifton Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Clifton Arizona.