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Become a Phlebotomist in Chandler Arizona

How to Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Chandler AZ

Chandler AZ phlebotomy tech drawing blood from patientPicking the right phlebotomist school near Chandler AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding career as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the school options that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you do your due diligence to ensure that you receive a superior education. In fact, a large number of students begin their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is far more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.

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Phlebotomy Technician Work Description

Chandler AZ phlebotomist laboratory techA phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their principal responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist must check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork has to be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then transports the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it can be tested for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Chandler AZ labs and are accountable for ensuring that samples are tested correctly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.

Where do Phlebotomists Work?

The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are numerous and diverse, such as Chandler AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They may be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting samples from a specific kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home 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 exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.

Phlebotomist Training, Licensing and Certification

blood testing done in Chandler AZ laboratoryThere are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program offer a more expansive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, many Chandler AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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 phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a premium education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you elect or are required to take.

Online Phlebotomist Certificates and Degrees

Chandler AZ woman attending phlebotomy school onlineTo start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A substantial portion of the curriculum will be clinical 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 prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Chandler AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist school you enroll in is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a premium 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 ideal choice for you.

What to Ask Phlebotomy Schools

Now that you have a basic idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is relevant if you will be commuting from Chandler AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are an important component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your final selection.

Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies 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 College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to take a certification examination offered by any of the previously listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Chandler AZ job market.

What is the School's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's important to check the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even check with a few Chandler AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and see if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.

Is Enough Training Included? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer sufficient training.

Are Internships Provided? Find out from the schools you are looking at if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Chandler AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes also.

Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the schools you are reviewing offer 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 as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Chandler AZ health care community.

Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to verify that the final college you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is particularly important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Chandler AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is in case you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.

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Choose the Right Phlebotomist Training near Chandler Arizona

Making certain that you choose the right phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are multiple factors that go into the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs can be available in a number of academic institutes, such as junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ a bit from state to state as each state has its own prerequisites when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Chandler AZ.