How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Training Classes near Gilbert AZ
Selecting the right phlebotomist school near Gilbert AZ is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare each of the school alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's important that you complete your due diligence to make certain that you obtain a superior education. In reality, many prospective students begin the process by considering 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you may consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review 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 locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must be part of your decision process too. To assist in that effort, 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 schools.
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Phlebotomy Tech Work Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. Although that is their primary function, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Before collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to verify that the tools being utilized are sterile and single use only. After collection, the sample has to be correctly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be properly filled out in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening 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 actually work in Gilbert AZ laboratories and are accountable for ensuring that samples are analyzed properly using the strictest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they may be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Practice?
The easiest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are many and diverse, such as Gilbert AZ hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood banks. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, depending on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing blood from a certain kind of patient. For instance, those practicing in an assisted living facility or nursing home would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from newborns and mothers solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be drawing blood from a wide range of patients and would work with new patients on a daily basis.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Licensing and Certification
There are basically two kinds of programs that offer phlebotomy training, which are certificate and degree programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to complete and furnishes a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not specifically a phlebotomist degree, will provide training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less accessible and as a 4 year program furnish a more extensive background in lab sciences. When you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in the majority of states, many Gilbert AZ employers look for certification before employing technicians. A few 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 a few states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's important that you select a phlebotomist training program that not only provides a superior education, but also preps you for any certification or licensing examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Online Phlebotomist Colleges
First, let's resolve one likely misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be conducted either in an on-campus lab or an approved healthcare facility. Numerous courses also require completion of an internship prior to graduation. However since the non-practical component of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Gilbert AZ students. As an additional benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their on-campus counterparts. And some expenses, such as those for textbooks or commuting, may be reduced also. Just make certain that the online phlebotomist school you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting organization (more on accreditation to follow). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a quality education with this approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best choice for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a basic understanding about what it takes to become a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is significant if you will be commuting from Gilbert AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Perhaps you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomy online program. Each of these decisions are a critical component of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy school or program. But they are not the sole concerns when making your decision. Following are several questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are looking at before making your final selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program State Specific? As previously mentioned, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states call for 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. As a result, you might have to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and preps you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you select should be accredited by a highly regarded regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are several benefits to graduating from an accredited school in addition to a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to take a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited college can make you more attractive to prospective employers in the Gilbert AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In many states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of any schools you are reviewing. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they place their graduates as part of their job assistance program. You can screen internet school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. You can even check with some Gilbert AZ hospitals or clinics that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations. As a final thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any grievances have been filed or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Provided? First, contact the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length 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 below these minimums might indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish sufficient training.
Are Internships Included? Ask the colleges you are reviewing if they have an internship program in partnership with local healthcare facilities. They are the optimal means to receive hands-on clinical training often not available on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish contacts within the local Gilbert AZ medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Finding your first phlebotomist position will be a lot easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are considering offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the college has both an excellent reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Gilbert AZ medical community.
Are Classes Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's critical to make sure that the ultimate school you select provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to attend classes at night or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, make sure they are available at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option as well. And if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is should you need to miss any classes because of emergencies or illness.
Pick the Right Phlebotomy Training Program near Gilbert Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that contribute toward the selection of a superior college. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in healthcare and medical sciences. Training program offerings may vary somewhat from state to state as every state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must diligently research and compare each program prior to making your final decision. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can select the best phlebotomist college for you. And with the proper training, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gilbert AZ.