How to Find the Right Phlebotomist School near Douglas Arizona
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician school near Douglas AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far 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 must be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online training.
Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Douglas AZ labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, including Douglas AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, a number of Douglas AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying agencies 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, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Douglas AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Douglas AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. 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 prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Douglas AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Douglas AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools 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 phlebotomy program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area 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 develop relationships within the local Douglas AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Douglas AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. 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, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Should You Train to Be a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Douglas AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may 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 may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Douglas Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Douglas Arizona.