How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Eloy Arizona
Choosing the right phlebotomist school near Eloy AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area 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 cheapest or the closest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating 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 training.
Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time 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 screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Eloy AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Eloy AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not required in most states, a number of Eloy AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a superior education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial 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. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for some Eloy AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lessened as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the best option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Eloy AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process 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 should ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Eloy AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Eloy AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, contact the Arizona state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Eloy AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Eloy AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Eloy AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Should You Go to School to Become a Phlebotomy Technician?
Anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Eloy AZ medical facilities, well this profession probably is not the best choice for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work with anxious people who hate needles or having their blood taken. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect profession for you.
Choose the Right Eloy Phlebotomist School
Making certain that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Eloy Arizona.