How to Choose the Right Phlebotomy Training Course near Chandler AZ
Enrolling in the ideal phlebotomist training near Chandler AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to assess and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, most students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is far more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should 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 assessing to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually far more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must verify that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Chandler AZ laboratories and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest response is wherever they treat patients. Their work places are many and diverse, such as Chandler AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a certain type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and provides a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Chandler AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. Some of the key certifying organizations 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a quality education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Colleges
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get 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 on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. However since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more convenient option for some Chandler AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
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 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 school is relevant if you will be commuting from Chandler AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online school. All of these decisions are a critical part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about all of the programs you are looking at before making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. 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 preps you for all exams you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in 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 benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, 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 obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Chandler AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check out the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even contact a few Chandler AZ clinics or hospitals that you might have an interest in working for and find out if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been submitted or if the colleges are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn 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 furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify 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 collaboration with area healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on practical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Chandler AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Chandler AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to make sure that the final college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you need to go to classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Chandler Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomy training programs are offered in a number of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Chandler AZ.