How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Douglas Arizona
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Douglas AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need 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 need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Douglas AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?The simplest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Douglas AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to complete and offers a general education as well as 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 phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Douglas AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the principal 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Douglas AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened 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 extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen the type of program you want 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 Douglas AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing 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 practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a recognized 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 school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Douglas AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Douglas AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, check with the Arizona state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Douglas AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Douglas AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final program you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Douglas AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical 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 because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?
Anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around needles and blood. And if you are not comfortable 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 nervous 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, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Best Douglas Phlebotomy School
Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each college prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Douglas Arizona.