How to Find the Right One Near Bullhead City Arizona
An important first step you must take to enter the rewarding healthcare profession of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy training near Bullhead City AZ. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Notwithstanding, to ensure that you will get a quality education you must complete your due diligence before making your decision. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will commute to classes or participate online is another consideration as well. We'll talk more about online schools later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training programs, cost and location must not be the sole criteria you are looking at. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to 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 cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main task, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately 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 Bullhead City AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and offers 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, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Bullhead City AZ employers require certification before hiring 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 require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
To begin with, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum 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. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Bullhead City AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive 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 degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Bullhead City AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies 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 phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Bullhead City AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are considering. 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 research internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even check with several Bullhead City AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 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 might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Bullhead City AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a large network of professional contacts within the Bullhead City AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to make sure that the ultimate program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Bullhead City AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. 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 find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Bullhead City Phlebotomist Training
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Bullhead City Arizona.