How to Find the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Gilbert AZ
Enrolling in the right phlebotomy technician school near Gilbert AZ is a critical initial step toward a rewarding profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to assess and compare all of the training alternatives that are available to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you perform your due diligence to make sure that you obtain a quality education. In fact, a large number of potential students start their search by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. An additional factor you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to a local campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online classes later in this article. What you need to remember is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the cheapest or the closest one. Other variables such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your selection process too. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the ideal one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our conversation about online classes.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their primary duty, there is in fact much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist must confirm that the instruments being utilized are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample has to be properly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the time of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be tested for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists actually work in Gilbert 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 can be called upon to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The most basic answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, such as Gilbert AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood centers. They can be assigned to draw blood samples from patients of all ages, from babies or young children to seniors. A number of phlebotomy techs, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a specific type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from older patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. In contrast, phlebotomy technicians working in a general hospital environment would be drawing samples from a wide range of patients and would collect samples from new patients every day.
Phlebotomy Education, Certification and Licensing
There are basically two types of programs that offer phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and provides a basic education as well as 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 exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will provide training to become a phlebotomy tech. Offered at community and junior colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as accessible and as a four year program offer a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will probably want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Gilbert AZ employers look for certification prior to employing technicians. Some 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 several states that do require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, including California and Nevada. California and a handful of additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only furnishes a superior education, but also readies you for any licensing or certification exams that you elect or are required to take.
Phlebotomy Online Schools
To begin with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't receive all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant portion of the curriculum will be practical training and it will be performed either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Numerous courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical part of the training can be attended online, it might be a more practical alternative for some Gilbert AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online schools are less expensive than their on-campus competitors. And some expenses, including those for commuting or textbooks, 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 to follow). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a premium education with this method of learning. If you are disciplined enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Phlebotomist Schools
Now that you have a basic understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomy tech, it's time to start your due diligence process. You might have already selected the kind of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a certificate or a degree. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school is significant if you will be commuting from Gilbert AZ as well as the tuition expense. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Following are some questions that you should ask about each of the colleges you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Several states require certification, while some others mandate licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of practical training performed prior to practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing examination. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomist program that complies with the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and prepares you for any examinations you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program 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 a number of advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a premium 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 earlier listed certifying agencies. Also, accreditation will help in getting loans or financial assistance, which are often not available for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited college can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Gilbert AZ job market.
What is the College's Reputation? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are some that are not of the highest quality. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of any colleges you are considering. You can begin by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can even check with a few Gilbert AZ hospitals or clinics that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations. As a closing thought, you can contact the Arizona school licensing authority and find out if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be working to find out if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both clinical and classroom. At a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide at least 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of practical training. Anything lower than these minimums might indicate that the program is not comprehensive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the programs you are looking at if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the ideal way to receive hands-on practical training frequently not provided on campus. As an added benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Gilbert AZ healthcare community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Getting your first phlebotomist position will be much easier with the assistance of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a high rate, meaning they place most of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a large network of professional contacts within the Gilbert AZ health care community.
Are Classes Available as Needed? And last, it's important to verify that the ultimate college you choose provides classes at times that will accommodate your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you choose to continue working while going to school. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, check that they are offered 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 certain those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And find out what the make-up policy is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomy Training Program near Gilbert Arizona
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomy training is an important first step toward your success in this gratifying medical care field. As we have covered in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist certificate or degree programs are available in a wide range of academic institutions, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a comprehensive range of programs in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings may differ slightly from state to state as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each program before making your final choice. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your choices so that you can pick the right phlebotomist school for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Gilbert AZ.