How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Avondale AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Avondale AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork must be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Avondale AZ laboratories and are responsible for making sure that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and varied, including Avondale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a specific type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and offers a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in the majority of states, a number of Avondale AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a quality education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Training
First, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out 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. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more practical alternative for many Avondale AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm 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 clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Avondale AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing loans or financial assistance, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Avondale AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Avondale AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy 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 might signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Avondale AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college 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 together with a large network of professional contacts within the Avondale AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while attending school. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Avondale AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes because of illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Avondale Arizona
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings may vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly screen and compare each program before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Avondale AZ.