How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Tech School near Avondale AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomist training near Avondale AZ is an essential initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you receive a quality education. In reality, many students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you may 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. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal task, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Avondale AZ laboratories and are accountable for making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Avondale AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For example, 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 newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Avondale AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few 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 several states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a quality education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's dispel one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical component of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Avondale AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already chosen the type 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 relevant if you will be commuting from Avondale AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Avondale AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Avondale AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and see 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 submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Avondale AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 program has both an excellent reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Avondale AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to confirm that the ultimate program you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Avondale AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Avondale Arizona
Making sure that you choose the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can vary slightly from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Avondale AZ.