How to Select the Right Phlebotomy Technician Training Course near Chandler AZ
Picking the right phlebotomist school near Chandler AZ is an essential first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you complete your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In reality, most students start the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss more about online classes later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your selection process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Technician Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory testing 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Chandler AZ labs and are in charge of ensuring that samples are tested properly utilizing the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Practice?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Chandler AZ medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a specific kind of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not required in most states, many Chandler AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, such as Nevada and California. California and a few additional 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 exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Colleges
First, let's resolve one potential mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A good part of the curriculum will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more convenient alternative for many Chandler AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online classes are less expensive than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the right option for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may have already selected the kind of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Chandler AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online school. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Chandler AZ job market.
What is the Program's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all schools you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job assistance program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also talk to some Chandler AZ hospitals or clinics that you may 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 full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish relationships within the local Chandler AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Chandler AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's important to confirm that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending college. If you need to go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Chandler AZ, make sure they are offered 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 certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is in case you have to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training near Chandler Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that offer a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings may vary a bit from state to state as each state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to diligently research and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Chandler AZ.