How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Avondale AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Avondale AZ is a critical first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, a large number of students begin the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll talk a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating 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 resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order 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 can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Avondale AZ labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Avondale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies 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 solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not required 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 some states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Classes
First, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Avondale AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is significant if you will be commuting from Avondale AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about each of the programs you are considering before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you pick 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Avondale AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact a few 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 find out if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working 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 looking at 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 expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Find out from the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Avondale AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good 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 choose offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Avondale AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical 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 as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Avondale Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are found in a variety of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options can differ slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Avondale AZ.