How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Chandler AZ
Picking the right phlebotomy technician training near Chandler AZ is an important first step toward a gratifying career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, many potential students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll talk more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main function, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to check that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory testing process. 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Chandler AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be called upon to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The quickest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and varied, such as Chandler AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For instance, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and provides a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they usually take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Chandler AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the primary certifying agencies 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical 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. However since the non-clinical portion of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Chandler AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, for instance those for commuting or textbooks, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the right option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Chandler AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist college. All of these decisions are a critical component of the process for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are reviewing prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As previously mentioned, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you choose should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered 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. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Chandler AZ job market.
What is the Program'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 essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. 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 screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Chandler AZ clinics or hospitals that you might 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 ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. 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 below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with local health care facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Chandler AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Chandler AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? And last, it's important to make sure that the ultimate school you pick offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Chandler Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an important first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a number of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary somewhat across the country as every state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must diligently screen and compare each program before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist program for you. And with the proper education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Chandler AZ.