How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Coolidge Arizona
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Coolidge AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember 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 must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Coolidge AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Coolidge AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background 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 Coolidge AZ employers look for certification prior to 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 some states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many Coolidge AZ students. As an added benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomy school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. 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 decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Coolidge AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy 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 asking the schools for references 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 organizations for their reviews as well. You can even contact some Coolidge AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can offer any recommendations. 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 Adequate Training Provided? First, 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 classroom and practical. As 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 practical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Coolidge AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Coolidge AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the final college you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Coolidge AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study 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 in case you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter 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 then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work with nervous people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, 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 right profession for you.
Pick the Right Coolidge Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Coolidge Arizona.