How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Chandler AZ
Picking the ideal phlebotomy technician training near Chandler AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to investigate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, many prospective students start the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll talk a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is much more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than finding the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then continue our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their main task, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to check that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample needs to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork needs to be properly completed to be able to track the sample from the time 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Chandler AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are tested properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient responsibilities, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work environments are numerous and varied, such as 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 infants or young children to senior citizens. Some phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a particular kind of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Training, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two types of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest means to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to be certified. While not required in the majority of states, many Chandler AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the principal 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, such as California and Nevada. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomist training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Many courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Chandler AZ students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just verify that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then earning your degree or certificate online might be the best choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomy Programs
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already chosen 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 school is significant if you will be commuting from Chandler AZ as well as the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. All of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for picking a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training completed prior to working as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that satisfies 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 School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Chandler AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's important to check out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can also check with some Chandler AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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 phlebotomy program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal 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 are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Chandler AZ medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly true if you choose to still work while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Chandler AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Chandler Arizona
Making sure that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a wide range of academic institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive assortment of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program options may differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own prerequisites when it concerns phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Chandler AZ.