How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Avondale AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Avondale AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a difficult undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a quality education. In fact, most students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another option you may consider is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing procedure. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of 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 sufficient duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and varied, such as Avondale AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education along 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, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually require two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background 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 prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of 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 prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A good portion of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more convenient alternative for many Avondale AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online schools are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in 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 superior education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the right choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the short definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Avondale AZ medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having a blood sample taken. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you will probably be expected to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
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 might have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the campus 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 phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited schools. Last, 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 College's Ranking? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also check with several Avondale AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with 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 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 practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with local medical facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Avondale AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Avondale AZ medical community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that are compatible with your busy lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Avondale AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm 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 completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you have to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Avondale Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality school. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options may vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly evaluate and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy program for you. And with the proper education, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Avondale AZ.