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How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Cottonwood Arizona

Cottonwood Arizona phlebotomist drawing blood from man's armSelecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Cottonwood AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, most potential students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.

Phlebotomy Technician Work Description

Cottonwood Arizona phlebotomy tech testing blood samplesA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Cottonwood AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?

The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, including Cottonwood AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.

Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification

Cottonwood Arizona phlebotomy technician examining a blood sampleThere are basically 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Cottonwood AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the main certifying agencies 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.

Online Phlebotomy Schools

blood sample in test tube Cottonwood ArizonaTo start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Cottonwood AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.

Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Schools

Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming 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 mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Cottonwood AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may be required to take.

Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school 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 several advantages to graduating from an accredited school 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 administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Cottonwood AZ job market.

What is the School's Reputation? 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 important to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Cottonwood AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and ask 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 Included? First, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training frequently not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Cottonwood AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Cottonwood AZ healthcare community.

Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Cottonwood AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. 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 find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.

Find Out More About Cottonwood Phlebotomy Classes

Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?

Anyone who selects this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Cottonwood AZ medical environments, well this job may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.

Pick the Right Cottonwood Phlebotomist Program

Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of educational institutes, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Cottonwood Arizona.


 

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