How to Pick the Right Phlebotomist School near Eloy Arizona
Picking the right phlebotomy training near Eloy AZ is a critical initial step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Eloy AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Eloy AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Eloy AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations 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, like California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it could be a more practical alternative for many Eloy AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is important if you will be commuting from Eloy AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps 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 agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Eloy AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. 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 rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with several Eloy AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Eloy AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Eloy AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Eloy AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Eloy AZ medical facilities, well this job probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomists tend to work around anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be expected to work weekends, nights and, you guessed it 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 may be the right job for you.
Choose the Best Eloy Phlebotomist Training
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit across the country as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Eloy Arizona.