How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech School near Chandler AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy school near Chandler AZ is an important initial step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. However it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you obtain a superior education. In fact, a large number of prospective students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to remember is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will provide a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you pick the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their principal function, there is actually so much more to their job description. Prior to drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork has to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the lab screening 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. Many phlebotomists actually work in Chandler AZ laboratories and are responsible for ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest 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 can be charged to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting blood from a particular type of patient. For example, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be drawing samples from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest means to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program furnish a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to be certified. Although not mandated in most states, many Chandler AZ employers look for certification before hiring technicians. Some of the key 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 in order to practice as a phlebotomist, like Nevada and California. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you choose a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing exams that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Classes
To start with, let's resolve one possible mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the program of studies will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship in order to graduate. But since the non-practical component of the training may be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for many Chandler AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online colleges are more affordable than their on-campus competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to learn at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Technician?First of all, not many people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the short answer is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who chooses this profession must be able to handle blood and needles. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Chandler AZ medical environments, well this job probably is not right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomists often work around nervous people who hate needles or having a blood sample taken. And because most health care facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right job for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the type of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Chandler AZ in addition to the cost of tuition. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomist program. All of these decisions are an important component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are considering before making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's extremely important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomy school and program you choose should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited colleges. Last, graduating from an accredited college can make you more desirable to future employers in the Chandler AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also talk to several Chandler AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be working to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both clinical and classroom. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the schools you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with area health care facilities. They are the ideal means to get hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Chandler AZ health care community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the schools you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Chandler AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's critical to verify that the ultimate program you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while going to college. If you can only attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Chandler AZ, make sure they are offered 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 attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up procedure is should you have to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training near Chandler Arizona
Making certain that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy training programs are found in a variety of educational institutions, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Course offerings can vary a bit across the country as each state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Chandler AZ.