How to Select the Best Phlebotomist Training Classes near Douglas Arizona
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Douglas AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of prospective students begin the process by considering 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's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision 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 choose the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Douglas AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The simplest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Douglas AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Douglas AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Douglas AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you want 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 Douglas AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Douglas AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start 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 ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Douglas AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with 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. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Douglas AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high 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 substantial network of professional contacts within the Douglas AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Douglas AZ, check that they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical 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 need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Douglas AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. 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 interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the right job for you.
Pick the Best Douglas Phlebotomist Course
Making sure that you choose the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs can be found in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can vary slightly from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully screen and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Douglas Arizona.