How to Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Tech Training Classes near Gilbert AZ
Selecting the ideal phlebotomist training near Gilbert AZ is a critical first step toward a fulfilling career as a phlebotomist. It may seem like a difficult task to analyze and compare each of the training options that are accessible to you. Nevertheless it's necessary that you do your due diligence to make sure that you get a superior education. In fact, most students begin their search by considering two of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are cost and location. Another factor you may look into is whether to attend classes online or commute to a local campus. We'll review a bit more about online schools later in this article. What you need to keep in mind is that there is a lot more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than finding the closest or the cheapest one. Other factors such as reputation and accreditation are also important considerations and must 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 choose the best one for you. But prior to doing that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards continue our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomy Technician Work Summary
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy tech, collects blood samples from patients. While that is their main duty, there is actually much more to their job description. Before drawing a blood sample, a phlebotomist needs to confirm that the tools being used are single use only and sterile. After collection, the sample must be properly labeled with the patient's information. Next, paperwork must be accurately completed to be able to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening procedure. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an in-house lab or to an outside lab facility where it may be screened for such things as infectious diseases, pregnancy or blood type. A number of phlebotomists in fact work in Gilbert AZ labs and are in charge of making sure that samples are analyzed correctly under the strictest quality assurance procedures. And if those weren't enough duties, they can be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, transport and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomists Work?
The quickest answer is wherever patients are treated. Their work places are numerous and diverse, including Gilbert AZ hospitals, medical clinics, long-term care facilities, or blood banks. They can be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of all ages, from infants or toddlers to seniors. Some phlebotomists, based on their training and their practice, specialize in collecting blood from a certain type of patient. For example, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would exclusively be drawing blood from elderly patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from mothers and newborns solely. In contrast, phlebotomists practicing in a general hospital environment would be collecting blood from a wide variety of patients and would collect samples from different patients every day.
Phlebotomy Technician Education, Certification and Licensing
There are primarily 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomy training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program generally takes under a year to finish and furnishes a general education together with the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest method to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomy degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomy tech. Available at community and junior colleges, they typically require two years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a 4 year program provide a more extensive foundation in lab sciences. After you have finished your training, you will probably want to get certified. Although not mandated in the majority of states, most Gilbert AZ employers require certification prior to hiring technicians. A few of the main 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 require certification in order to practice as a phlebotomy tech, like Nevada and California. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's essential that you select a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you elect or are required to take.
Online Phlebotomy Schools
To start with, let's resolve one potential misconception. You can't receive all of your phlebotomist training online. A significant portion of the course of study will be practical 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-clinical portion of the training may be attended online, it may be a more practical option for many Gilbert AZ students. As an added benefit, a number of online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenditures, for instance those for textbooks or commuting, may be lowered as well. Just make certain that the online phlebotomy program you choose 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 approach to learning. If you are disciplined enough to learn at home, then attaining your degree or certificate online may be the best option for you.
Should You Become a Phlebotomy Technician?Right out of the gate, not many people probably know what a phlebotomy tech or phlebotomist is. As we have already discussed, the short definition is a medical professional who draws blood from patients. So of course anyone who decides to enter this profession must be comfortable with blood and needles. And if you are not comfortable in hospitals or other Gilbert AZ medical environments, well this profession may not be right for you. And then there are the patients. Phlebotomy Techs routinely work with anxious people who hate needles or having a blood sample drawn. And because many medical facilities are open 24 hours, you may be required to work weekends, nights and even on holidays. But if you can handle the hours and the blood and needles, and if you enjoy helping people and are compassionate and very patient, this could be the perfect profession for you.
Subjects to Ask Phlebotomist Programs
Since you now have a general understanding about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to start your due diligence process. You may have already selected the type of program you intend to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we previously mentioned, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Gilbert AZ as well as the cost of tuition. Maybe you have opted to enroll in an accredited online phlebotomy program. All of these decisions are an important part of the procedure for selecting a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only considerations when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the colleges you are looking at before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As mentioned previously, each state has its own requirements for practicing as a phlebotomist. Some states call for certification, while some others mandate licensing. Each has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed before practicing as a phlebotomist. Consequently, you may need to pass a State Board, certification or licensing exam. Therefore it's very important to enroll in a phlebotomist program that satisfies the state specific requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing and readies you for all exams you may be required to take.
Is the School Accredited? The phlebotomist program and school you pick should be accredited by a recognized regional or national accrediting agency, for example the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a premium education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not be able to sit for a certification examination administered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in obtaining loans or financial assistance, which are often unavailable for non-accredited programs. Finally, graduating from an accredited school can make you more desirable to future employers in the Gilbert AZ job market.
What is the Program's Reputation? In a number of states there is little or no regulation of phlebotomy schools, so there are those that are not of the highest quality. So along with accreditation, it's imperative to investigate the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their students as part of their job placement program. You can screen online school rating and review services and solicit the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. You can also contact a few Gilbert AZ clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and find out if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can check with the Arizona school licensing authority and ask if any complaints have been filed or if the colleges are in full compliance.
Is Sufficient Training Provided? To begin with, contact 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 phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (most require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything below these minimums may indicate that the program is not expansive enough to furnish adequate training.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out from the schools you are considering if they have an internship program in partnership with area medical facilities. They are the optimal means to get hands-on practical training often not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students develop contacts within the local Gilbert AZ health care community. And they are a plus on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Landing your first phlebotomy position will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Ask if the programs you are reviewing offer assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a college has a high rate, meaning they place the majority of their students in jobs, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation as well as a large network of professional contacts within the Gilbert AZ health care community.
Are Class Times Available as Needed? Finally, it's critical to confirm that the final school you pick offers classes at times that will accommodate your busy lifestyle. This is especially important if you choose to still work while attending college. If you need to go to 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 sure those hours can also be fulfilled within your schedule. And ask what the make-up procedure is should you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Best Phlebotomist Training Program near Gilbert Arizona
Making sure that you pick the most suitable phlebotomist training is a critical first step toward your success in this fulfilling healthcare career position. As we have addressed in this article, there are a number of factors that go into the selection of a quality college. Phlebotomy training programs can be available in a wide range of educational institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that provide a wide array of courses in medical care and health sciences. Program offerings can differ somewhat from state to state as every state has its own criteria when it pertains to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly research and compare each school before making your ultimate choice. By addressing the questions that we have furnished, you will be able to narrow down your choices so that you can select the best phlebotomy college for you. And with the proper education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomist in Gilbert AZ.