How to Pick the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Chandler AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy school near Chandler AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare each of the school alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you perform your due diligence to ensure that you get a quality education. In fact, most potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a nearby campus. We'll review 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you pick the ideal one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online training.
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Phlebotomist Job Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample must be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab testing process. The phlebotomist then transports 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. A number of phlebotomists actually work in Chandler AZ laboratories and are accountable for making sure that samples are analyzed properly under the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be asked to train other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever there are patients. Their work places are numerous and varied, such as Chandler AZ medical clinics, hospitals, 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 phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular kind of patient. For instance, those working in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting 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, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be drawing blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Training, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program usually takes less than a year to complete and furnishes a basic 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, although not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at community and junior colleges, they usually take 2 years to finish. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a four year program offer a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not mandated in most states, many Chandler AZ employers require certification before employing technicians. Some of the key 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 call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech, including California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomy training program that not only provides a premium education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Classes
To begin with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. A large number of courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical part of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical option for many Chandler AZ students. As an added benefit, many online classes are less expensive than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, such as those for commuting or textbooks, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Should You Choose a Career as a Phlebotomy Tech?First of all, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have previously discussed, the basic definition is a medical professional whose job is to draw blood. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be OK around blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Chandler AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs tend to work with anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood taken. 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 can handle the hours and the needles and blood, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are patient and compassionate, this may be the perfect job for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already picked the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Chandler AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the procedure for choosing a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about each of the programs you are looking at prior to making your final decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others require licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that fulfills the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a highly regarded 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 program aside from an assurance of a quality education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification exam offered by any of the previously listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school 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 minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy colleges, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check out the reputations of any schools you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even talk to several Chandler AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and find out if they can offer any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Included? First, contact 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 less than these minimums may indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on clinical training often not provided 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Help Available? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the support of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement rate is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Chandler AZ healthcare community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? Finally, it's crucial to verify that the final school you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy schedule. This is particularly true if you decide to still work while attending school. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Chandler AZ, make certain they are available at those times. Also, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, make sure it is an option also. And if you have decided to attend online, with the clinical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is in case you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Chandler Arizona
Making sure that you select the most suitable phlebotomist training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have discussed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium program. Phlebotomy training programs can be found in a wide range of educational institutions, including community or junior colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own requirements when it concerns phlebotomy training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you need to carefully evaluate and compare each school before making your ultimate decision. By asking the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can achieve your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Chandler AZ.