How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Avondale AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy technician school near Avondale AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's important that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In reality, a large number of prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, 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 prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork has to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Avondale AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as Avondale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in most states, most Avondale AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the principal certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
To begin with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed 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 attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Avondale AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online may be the best option for you.
Should You Train to Be a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Avondale AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians often work around nervous people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the right job for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Avondale AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Avondale AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Avondale AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Avondale AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are considering provide 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 school has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Avondale AZ health care community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's important to confirm that the final program you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Avondale 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 practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training near Avondale Arizona
Making certain that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings may differ somewhat across the country as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each college before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Avondale AZ.