How to Enroll in the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Chandler AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomy school near Chandler AZ is an important first step toward a fulfilling profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult undertaking to assess and compare all of the school options that are available to you. However it's vital that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you get a quality education. In fact, most prospective students start their search by considering two 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 an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools 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 such as accreditation and reputation are also important considerations and must be part of your selection process as well. To assist in that effort, we will supply a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are reviewing to help you choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue 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 main duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to verify that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's information. Afterward, paperwork needs to be correctly completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the lab screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it can be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Chandler AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and diverse, such as Chandler AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be tasked to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from infants or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be drawing blood from senior patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomists working in a general hospital environment would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are essentially two types of programs that provide phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest means 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 to become a phlebotomist. Available at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more comprehensive background in lab sciences. Once you have finished your training, you will probably want to become certified. Although not required in the majority of states, most Chandler AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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, including California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also prepares you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To begin with, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial part of the program of studies will be clinical training and it will be conducted either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-practical portion of the training can be attended online, it can be a more convenient option for some Chandler AZ students. As an added benefit, some online programs are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some costs, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist college you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive online and clinical training, you can receive a quality education with this means of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then attaining your certificate or degree online may be the ideal choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You might have already decided on the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the campus is relevant if you will be commuting from Chandler AZ in addition to the tuition expense. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online college. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. 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 colleges you are considering prior to making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others require licensing. Each has its own prerequisite regarding the minimum amount of clinical training performed before working as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's extremely important to choose a phlebotomist program that meets the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you choose should be accredited by a respected national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of benefits to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a quality education. First, if your program is not accredited, you will not qualify to take a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in getting financial aid or loans, which are typically not available for non-accredited programs. Last, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Chandler AZ job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are some that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by asking the schools for references from employers where they place their students as part of their job placement program. You can research internet school reviews and rating services and solicit the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can also check with some Chandler AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and see if they can provide any recommendations. 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 full compliance.
Is Adequate Training Provided? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the amount of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are looking at should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums might signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with regional healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training typically not provided on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Chandler AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Available? Getting your first phlebotomy job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation as well as an extensive network of professional contacts within the Chandler AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Offered to Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important to make sure that the final program you select provides classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you need to 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, verify it is an option as well. And if you have decided to study 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 as a result of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training near Chandler Arizona
Making sure that you pick the ideal phlebotomy training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality program. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are found in a wide range of educational institutes, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide assortment of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to carefully research and compare each program prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can realize your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Chandler AZ.