How to Find the Best Phlebotomy Tech Training Course near Gilbert AZ
Choosing the ideal phlebotomy technician school near Gilbert AZ is a critical initial step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a daunting task to analyze and compare all of the training alternatives that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's vital that you do your due diligence to make certain that you receive a superior education. In reality, many students start the process by looking at 2 of the qualifiers that first come to mind, which are location and cost. Yet another option you might consider is whether to attend classes online or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also significant considerations and should be part of your selection process too. Toward that end, we will supply a list of questions that you need to ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you choose the best one for you. But before we do that, let's address what a phlebotomist is and does, and then resume our discussion about online training.
Request Free information on Phlebotomy Training in Your Area
Phlebotomy Tech Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. Although that is their primary duty, there is actually so much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the tools being employed are single use only and sterile. Following the collection, the sample must be correctly labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork has to be correctly filled out in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. Some phlebotomists actually work in Gilbert AZ labs and are accountable for making sure that samples are tested properly under the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they can be asked to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever there are patients. Their work places are many and diverse, including Gilbert AZ medical clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They may be tasked to draw blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or toddlers to senior citizens. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in drawing samples from a particular type of patient. For example, those working in a nursing home or assisted living facility would solely be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be collecting blood from mothers and newborns exclusively. On the other hand, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with different patients every day.
Phlebotomist Education, Licensing and Certification
There are primarily two kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes under a year to finish and offers a general education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the quickest method to becoming a phlebotomy tech. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, even though it's not specifically a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Offered at junior and community colleges, they typically take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are less available and as a four year program furnish a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. Once you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to become certified. While not required in most states, many Gilbert AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the primary 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like California and Nevada. California and a few other states even require licensing. So it's essential that you pick a phlebotomist training program that not only supplies a premium education, but also preps you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To begin with, let's dispel one possible misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the curriculum 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 in order to graduate. But since the non-clinical component of the training can be attended online, it can be a more practical option for many Gilbert AZ students. As an additional benefit, some online colleges are more affordable than their traditional counterparts. And some expenditures, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just make sure that the online phlebotomist program you enroll in is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency (more on accreditation later). With both the comprehensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this method of learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then earning your certificate or degree online may be the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Now that you have a general idea about what it takes to become a phlebotomist, it's time to initiate your due diligence process. You may 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 significant if you will be commuting from Gilbert AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have decided to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. Each of these decisions are a critical part of the process for picking 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 all of the schools you are reviewing prior to making your ultimate decision.
Is the Phlebotomy Program Specific to Arizona? As earlier discussed, each state has its own regulations for practicing as a phlebotomist. Several states call for certification, while a few others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum hours of clinical training completed prior to practicing as a phlebotomy tech. As a result, you may need to pass a State Board, licensing or certification examination. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomy program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working and preps you for all examinations you may be required to take.
Is the Program Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you enroll in should be accredited by a respected regional or national accrediting agency, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many advantages to graduating from an accredited school aside from a guarantee of a superior education. First, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by any of the earlier listed certifying organizations. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are typically not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more attractive to potential employers in the Gilbert AZ job market.
What is the School's Ranking? In many states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's essential to check the reputations of all schools you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can research online school reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. You can even talk to some Gilbert AZ clinics or hospitals that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a closing thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been submitted or if the schools are in total compliance.
Is Ample Training Provided? To begin with, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomist program that you are considering should provide 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 offer sufficient training.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal means to obtain hands-on clinical training frequently not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can help students develop relationships within the local Gilbert AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Landing your first phlebotomist job will be much easier with the help of a job placement program. Inquire if the colleges you are considering provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a higher rate, signifying they place the majority of their students in positions, it's an indication that the program has both a good reputation together with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Gilbert AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Conveniently Scheduled? And last, it's crucial to confirm that the ultimate school you select offers classes at times that will accommodate your hectic lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to continue working while going to school. If you need to attend classes in the evenings or on weekends near Gilbert AZ, check that they are offered at those times. Also, if you can only attend part-time, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to study online, with the clinical training requirement, make sure those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes due to illness or emergencies.
Choose the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Gilbert Arizona
Making certain that you enroll in the right phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this gratifying health care career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomy certificate or degree programs can be offered in a variety of educational institutes, such as junior or community colleges, vocational schools, and colleges and universities that provide an extensive range of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can differ somewhat across the country as every state has its own criteria when it concerns phlebotomy training, certification and licensing. The most critical point is that you need to diligently screen and compare each school prior to making your final selection. By addressing the questions that we have presented, you will be able to fine tune your options so that you can pick the right phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can accomplish your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gilbert AZ.