Phlebotomist Training Courses
How to Pick the Right One Near New River Arizona
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near New River AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's important that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Whether you will drive to classes or attend them online is another consideration as well. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in New River AZ labs and are responsible for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete 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 to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many New River AZ employers require certification prior to hiring 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it may be a more convenient alternative for many New River AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from New River AZ as well as 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 process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need 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 practicing and preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a reputable 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 school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the New River AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In numerous 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 essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several New River AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with area medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local New River AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the New River AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near New River AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
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Choose the Right New River Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a number of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in New River Arizona.