How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Colorado City Arizona
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Colorado City AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to analyze and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Colorado City AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Colorado City AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, many Colorado City AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary 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 require certification prior to practicing 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 phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Colorado City AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Courses
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Colorado City AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, for example 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 has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Colorado City AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Colorado City AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough 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 amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Colorado City AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Colorado City AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Colorado City AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Colorado City AZ medical environments, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably 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 may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Colorado City Phlebotomist School
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Colorado City Arizona.