How to Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Classes near Chandler AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomy training near Chandler AZ is an important initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to analyze and compare all of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, most prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you may look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the right one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online training.
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Phlebotomy Tech Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood 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 must confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed to be able 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 can be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Chandler AZ laboratories and are in charge of ensuring that samples are analyzed correctly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they may be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are many and varied, such as Chandler AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be charged to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a certain kind of patient. For example, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would solely be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from different patients each day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that provide phlebotomist training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program usually takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education along with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will incorporate training on becoming a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Chandler AZ employers require certification prior to employing technicians. A few of the primary 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 prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as Nevada and California. California and a handful of other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you enroll in a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomist Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant part of the program of studies will be practical 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 prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training may be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for many Chandler AZ students. As an added benefit, many online programs are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lessened also. Just confirm that the online phlebotomist college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, few people probably know what a phlebotomist or phlebotomy technician is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are nervous in hospitals or other Chandler AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because many medical facilities are open around the clock, you may be required to work weekends, evenings and, you guessed it even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are patient and compassionate, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Topics to Ask Phlebotomy Schools
Now that you have a basic 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 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 phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided some questions that you need to ask about all of the schools you are looking at prior to making your final selection.
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. Every state has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you pick should be accredited by a reputable regional or national accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to an assurance of a superior education. To begin with, if your program is not accredited, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are often not available 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 Program's Ranking? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's important to investigate the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their students as part of their job assistance program. You can research online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to a few Chandler AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish at least 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Provided? Find out from the programs you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the ideal way to get hands-on clinical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Chandler AZ healthcare community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the support of a job placement program. Find out if the schools you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, signifying they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation along with an extensive network of professional contacts within the Chandler AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially important if you opt to still work while attending college. If you need to go to classes at night 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. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical 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 have to miss any classes due to emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomist Training near Chandler Arizona
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this rewarding health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are multiple factors that contribute toward the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ a bit from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it pertains to phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most important point is that you must thoroughly screen and compare each program prior to making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the ideal phlebotomist college for you. And with the appropriate training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Chandler AZ.