How to Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Classes near Coolidge Arizona
Picking the right phlebotomist training near Coolidge AZ is an essential initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet 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 checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Coolidge AZ labs and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Coolidge AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Coolidge AZ employers require 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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-practical part of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Coolidge AZ students. As an added benefit, many online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Coolidge AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select 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 a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Coolidge AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is minimal 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 out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Coolidge AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Coolidge AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer 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 program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Coolidge AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Coolidge AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Coolidge AZ medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Techs often work with anxious 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, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Coolidge Phlebotomist Program
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Coolidge Arizona.