How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Colorado City Arizona
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician training near Colorado City AZ is an important initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might consider 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 keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Colorado City AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Colorado City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing 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 collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Colorado City AZ employers look for certification before hiring 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 a few states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more practical alternative for some Colorado City AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked 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 Colorado City AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, 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 financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Colorado City AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Colorado City AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. 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 full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the Arizona state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Colorado City AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Colorado City AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final college you choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Colorado City AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Colorado City AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right profession for you.
Choose the Best Colorado City Phlebotomy Program
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Colorado City Arizona.