How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Avondale AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Avondale AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In reality, many prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the right one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the tools being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing procedure. 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 responsible for making certain that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Avondale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Avondale AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies 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 phlebotomy training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Avondale AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist program you choose 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 premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might 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 decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy college. All of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to future employers in the Avondale AZ job market.
What is the Program'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 any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with some Avondale AZ clinics or hospitals that you might be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints 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 working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training frequently not available on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Avondale AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying 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 Avondale AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is particularly important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Avondale AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure 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 illness or emergencies.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Avondale Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a number of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can vary a bit across the country as every state has its own mandates when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to carefully research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Avondale AZ.