Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Enroll in the Right One Near Buckeye Arizona
An important first step one must take to enter the fulfilling medical profession of phlebotomy is to choose the right phlebotomy school near Buckeye AZ. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, many potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. And if you will drive to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Researching if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be part of your due diligence process. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary task, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Buckeye AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Buckeye AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main 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, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Schools
First, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. 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 may be a more practical option for many Buckeye AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option 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 decided on 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 campus is important if you will be commuting from Buckeye AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as 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 is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Buckeye AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges you are looking at. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to some Buckeye AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing 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 Enough Training Provided? First, check with the 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 furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional 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 assist students establish relationships within the local Buckeye AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Buckeye AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Buckeye AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Buckeye Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your ultimate selection. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Buckeye Arizona.