How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Coolidge Arizona
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Coolidge AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Coolidge AZ labs and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Coolidge AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not required in most states, a number of Coolidge AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To begin with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient option for many Coolidge AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Coolidge AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically 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 Coolidge AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Coolidge AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Coolidge AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Coolidge AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Coolidge AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Coolidge AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists routinely work with nervous people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably 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 interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Pick the Right Coolidge Phlebotomist Program
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Coolidge Arizona.