How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Program near Avondale AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy school near Avondale AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you receive a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Yet another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online schools.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal function, there is in fact far more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being used are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Avondale AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and varied, including Avondale AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification
There are basically 2 types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as 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 exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, most Avondale AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. A few 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 phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's dispel one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be performed either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be accessed online, it could be a more convenient alternative for many Avondale AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can receive a superior education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
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 may have already chosen the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Avondale AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are several questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective 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 quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can also contact a few Avondale AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Avondale AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Avondale AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final college you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Avondale AZ, make certain they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Avondale Arizona
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomy training programs are available in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Training program options can vary somewhat across the country as each state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school before making your ultimate selection. By addressing the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Avondale AZ.