How to Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Avondale AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Avondale AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In reality, many potential students begin their search by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and need to be part of your selection process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed 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. Some phlebotomists actually work in Avondale AZ laboratories and are responsible for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomy Techs Employed?
The most basic response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Avondale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns 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 new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and offers 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 phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. Although not mandated in most states, most Avondale AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it might be a more practical alternative for many Avondale AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a superior education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Avondale AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Avondale AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Avondale AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out 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 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 Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Avondale AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Avondale AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate program you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only attend 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 clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Avondale Arizona
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of academic institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own mandates when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each college before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Avondale AZ.