How to Select the Best Phlebotomy Technician School near Gilbert AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomist training near Gilbert AZ is an essential first step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a challenging task to evaluate and compare each of the training options that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, a large number of potential students begin the process by looking at two of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a nearby campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to checking out phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors including reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and should be part of your decision process as well. Toward that end, we will furnish a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are assessing to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Career Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their primary responsibility, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample needs to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Afterward, paperwork must be correctly completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory 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 pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Gilbert AZ laboratories and are in charge of making certain that samples are tested correctly utilizing the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough responsibilities, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the drawing, delivery and follow-up process.
Where are Phlebotomists Employed?
The easiest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work environments are many and varied, including Gilbert AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They can be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, depending on their practice and their training, specialize in collecting samples from a specific type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from older patients. If they are practicing in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomists working in a general hospital setting would be collecting blood from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially two types of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program normally takes less than a year to finish and furnishes a basic education along with the training on how to draw blood. It provides the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training to become a phlebotomist. Available at junior and community colleges, they typically require 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. When you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not required in most states, most Gilbert AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. Some 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 several states that do call for certification prior to practicing as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only offers a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Certificates and Degrees
To start with, let's dispel one likely mistaken belief. You can't obtain all of your phlebotomy training online. A substantial component of the course of study will be clinical training and it will be conducted 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. However since the non-practical portion of the training may be accessed online, it could be a more convenient option for many Gilbert AZ students. As an added benefit, many online schools are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist program 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 obtain a premium education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your degree or certificate online may be the ideal choice for you.
Should You Go to School to Become a Plebotomist?Right out of the gate, few people are likely to know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the basic definition is a health care professional whose job is to draw blood. So naturally anyone who selects this profession must be comfortable with needles and blood. And if you are anxious in hospitals or other Gilbert AZ medical facilities, well this job may not be the best choice for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Technicians tend to work around anxious people who don’t like needles or having their blood drawn. And because most health care facilities are open around the clock, you will probably be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you don’t mind working with the blood and needles, and if you enjoy interacting with people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the right profession for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already picked the kind of program you want to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is relevant if you will be commuting from Gilbert AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy school. Each of these decisions are an important part of the process for choosing a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the sole concerns when arriving at your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you need to ask about each of the schools you are considering prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. Consequently, you might need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to select a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and readies you for any examinations you may be required to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomy program and school you enroll in should be accredited by a recognized national or regional accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited program in addition to a guarantee of a premium 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. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Last, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to prospective employers in the Gilbert AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In a number of states there is minimal 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 out the reputations of all colleges you are considering. You can begin by asking the schools for references from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact some Gilbert AZ hospitals or clinics that you may have an interest in working for and see if they can provide any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, contact the state regulator where you will be practicing 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 considering should provide no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may signify that the program is not comprehensive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internship Programs Included? Ask the programs you are reviewing if they have an internship program in collaboration with local healthcare facilities. They are the ideal way to obtain hands-on clinical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Gilbert AZ medical community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Getting your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, meaning they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both an excellent reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Gilbert AZ healthcare community.
Are Classes Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's important to make sure that the final program you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your hectic schedule. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, make sure they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. And if you have decided to study online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up protocol is should you have to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Best Phlebotomy Training near Gilbert Arizona
Making sure that you select the ideal phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this rewarding health care field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a number of educational institutions, such as community or junior colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer an extensive array of programs in medical care and health sciences. Training program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own prerequisites when it pertains to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must carefully evaluate and compare each college prior to making your final choice. By asking the questions that we have presented, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the right phlebotomy school for you. And with the proper training, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gilbert AZ.