How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Chandler AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomy training near Chandler AZ is an essential first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make sure that you get a quality education. In fact, many prospective students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and need to be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be properly 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 lab screening process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Chandler AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested properly using the highest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The simplest answer is wherever they treat patients. Their work environments are many and diverse, including Chandler AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be collecting blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under 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 phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. While not required in most states, many Chandler AZ employers require certification prior to hiring 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's important that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant part of the course of study will be practical training and it will be conducted 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. However since the non-practical component of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Chandler AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomy college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Chandler AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing 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 should ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while some others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you pick should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 a guarantee of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Chandler AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also contact some Chandler AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not expansive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional healthcare facilities. They are the ideal means to obtain hands-on practical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop contacts within the local Chandler AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Chandler AZ medical community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's critical to make sure that the final school you select offers classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Chandler AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, 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 protocol is should you need to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training Program near Chandler Arizona
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program options may vary slightly 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 must thoroughly screen and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomy program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Chandler AZ.