How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Coolidge Arizona
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy training near Coolidge AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's important that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area 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 a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs 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 screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Coolidge AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Coolidge AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers 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 incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Coolidge AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 a few states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Coolidge AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select 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 quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Coolidge AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Coolidge AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of 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 important to check out the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also check with a few Coolidge 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 check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact the Arizona state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Coolidge AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Coolidge AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Coolidge AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option also. 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 find out what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who chooses this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Coolidge AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians routinely work with anxious 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, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Pick the Right Coolidge Phlebotomist School
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program options may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Coolidge Arizona.