How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Avondale AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Avondale AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most potential students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually so much 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 has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Avondale AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, including Avondale AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would exclusively be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished 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 prior to hiring technicians. Some 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 a few states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a quality education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Training
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the course of study will be clinical 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical option for many Avondale AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium 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 right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may 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 as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Avondale AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even contact some Avondale AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are reviewing should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Avondale AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a high 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 large network of professional contacts within the Avondale AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate college you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is particularly important if you decide to still work while going to school. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Avondale AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. 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 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 choose the ideal phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this fulfilling medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of educational institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ slightly from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomy college for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Avondale AZ.