How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Program near Avondale AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy technician training near Avondale AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you do your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In reality, most students begin the process by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main responsibility, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Avondale AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Avondale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific 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 practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a basic education together with 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, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Avondale AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few of the main 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A good component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Avondale AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Avondale AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that complies with 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 school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded national or regional accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a superior 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 previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Avondale AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of any colleges 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 screen online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact several Avondale AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full 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 clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way 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 health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out 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 jobs, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Avondale AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while attending college. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Avondale AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Avondale Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs are offered in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Avondale AZ.