How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training Course near Avondale AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist school near Avondale AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. 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 variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening 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 Avondale AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Avondale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Avondale AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Classes
To start with, let's dispel one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient option for many Avondale AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus is important if you will be commuting from Avondale AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Avondale AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Avondale AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with 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 phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Avondale AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Avondale AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Avondale AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, verify it is an option as well. And 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 protocol is in case you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Avondale Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ a bit across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Avondale AZ.