How to Choose the Best One Near Peoria Arizona
A critical first step you must take to enter the rewarding healthcare vocation of phlebotomy is to choose the best phlebotomy school near Peoria AZ. There are a number of training programs available to you and it can seem like an intimidating task to investigate and analyze each one. However, to ensure that you will get a top-notch education you must perform a detailed audit prior to making your selection. In reality, many students start their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. So when assessing phlebotomy training courses, location and cost shouldn’t be the sole parameters you are looking at. Finding out if the program is accredited or if the school has a job assistance program must also be part of your evaluation 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 pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online schools.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your Phlebotomy Career Below!
Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Peoria AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible 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 get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Peoria AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying organizations 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To begin with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component 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. A large number of courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical part of the training may be accessed online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Peoria AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomy college you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Peoria AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Peoria AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any 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 rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also talk to several Peoria AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Peoria AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Peoria AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the final college you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Peoria AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, verify it is an option also. 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 ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Peoria Phlebotomist Training Program
Making certain that you select the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling 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 college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully screen and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Peoria Arizona.