Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Find the Right One Near Douglas Arizona
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Douglas AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. There are many training options that are offered in your area and it may seem like a daunting task to research and compare each one. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Whether you will commute to classes or attend them online is an option you need to consider as well. Online courses will be covered in more detail a bit later. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Douglas AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and offers a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Douglas AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Douglas AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior 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 best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Certificate or Degree Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Douglas AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are a critical 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 some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams 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 several advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to future employers in the Douglas AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Douglas AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working 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 considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Douglas AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Douglas AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the final school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Douglas AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Douglas Phlebotomy Training
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a variety of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive array of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Douglas Arizona.