How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Technician Training Classes near Chandler AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Chandler AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging undertaking to evaluate and compare each of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, many prospective students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to 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 afterwards resume our discussion about online classes.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomist Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main responsibility, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be accurately filled out to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab testing procedure. 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 infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists in fact work in Chandler AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they may be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The most basic answer is wherever there are patients. Their workplaces are many and diverse, including Chandler AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially 2 types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive background in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, a number of Chandler AZ employers look for certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main certifying organizations include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are some states that do require certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing exams that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomy Certificates and Degrees
First, let's dispel one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial 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. Many courses also require completing an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical part of the training may be attended online, it might be a more convenient option for many Chandler AZ students. As an additional benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the best choice for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Since you now have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Chandler AZ as well as the tuition expense. Possibly you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online college. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the process for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Following are a few questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states require certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting organization, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from a guarantee of a quality 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 earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Chandler AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomist colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. 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 internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to several Chandler AZ hospitals or clinics that you might have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Enough Training Included? First, 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 (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything below these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to provide sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local health care facilities. They are the optimal way to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students establish contacts within the local Chandler AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Chandler AZ health care community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? Finally, it's crucial to make sure that the final school you choose offers classes at times that are compatible with your active schedule. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while going to college. If you can only 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 part-time, make sure it is an option as well. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Training near Chandler Arizona
Making sure that you select the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist training programs are available in a variety of academic institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive array of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Program options can differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own mandates when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must carefully research and compare each college prior to making your final selection. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the ideal phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Chandler AZ.