How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy School near Chandler AZ
Choosing the right phlebotomy training near Chandler AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's important that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their principal task, there is in fact far more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being used 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 filled out to be able to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers 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 in fact work in Chandler AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed correctly using the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, including Chandler AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Chandler AZ employers require certification prior to hiring 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomist Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical portion of the training may be attended online, it could be a more convenient alternative for some Chandler AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you choose is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the best choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have already discussed, the basic answer is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Chandler AZ medical facilities, well this profession may not be right for you. And now let’s talk about the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be expected to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You might have already picked 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 school is important if you will be commuting from Chandler AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you choose should be accredited by a recognized 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 program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Chandler AZ job market.
What is the School's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Chandler AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing 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 Plenty of Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything lower than these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop relationships within the local Chandler AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying 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 Chandler AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you decide to still work while going to school. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, check that they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend 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 need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Chandler Arizona
Making certain that you select the ideal phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a wide range of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course options can differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most important point is that you need to thoroughly research and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can select the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Chandler AZ.