How to Find the Best One Near Peoria Arizona
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Peoria AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However, to ensure that you will get a quality education you must complete a detailed audit before making your decision. In fact, most students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. And if you will drive to classes or participate online is an option you need to consider as well. Online classes will be covered in greater detail a bit later. So when evaluating phlebotomist training programs, location and cost must not be the only parameters you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job placement program must also be included in 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 reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Peoria AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Peoria AZ employers require 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's resolve one possible misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for some Peoria AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish 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 Peoria AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any exams you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Peoria AZ job market.
What is the Program'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 imperative to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to a few Peoria AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out 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 provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Peoria AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools 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 program has both an excellent reputation as well as a substantial network of professional contacts within the Peoria AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to verify that the final program you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is especially true if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Peoria AZ, make sure 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 certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Peoria Phlebotomy Training Program
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of academic institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may differ a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Peoria Arizona.