How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Avondale AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Avondale AZ is an essential initial step toward a fulfilling profession 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 make certain that you get a superior education. In fact, most potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right 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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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be properly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Avondale AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Avondale AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at junior and community colleges, they usually require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, most Avondale AZ employers require certification before hiring technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies 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 phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical 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-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for some Avondale AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online schools are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to initiate 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 college is significant if you will be commuting from Avondale AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided several questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
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 require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Avondale AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are reviewing. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Avondale AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? 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 looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Avondale AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Avondale AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to verify that the final program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you decide to still work while attending college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Avondale AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Avondale Arizona
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior program. Phlebotomist training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options can differ somewhat from state to state as every 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 college prior to making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Avondale AZ.