How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomist Training Course near Avondale AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy school near Avondale AZ is an important first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, most students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. 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 choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. While that is their principal duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed 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 completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports 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 responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they can be required to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Avondale AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to finish and provides a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take two years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a 4 year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Avondale AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical part of the training may be accessed online, it can be a more practical option for some Avondale AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a premium education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start 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 school is important if you will be commuting from Avondale AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about each of the colleges you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomist program that meets 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Avondale AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with several Avondale AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer 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 schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Avondale AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Avondale AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active schedule. This is especially true if you decide to continue working while attending college. 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 on a part-time basis, confirm 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 fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Avondale Arizona
Making certain that you choose the most suitable phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a superior school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must diligently evaluate and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Avondale AZ.